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Old 05-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
FirstDotLast OP
Joined: Feb 2011
Oddometer: 3
R75/5 project...should I do this?

Hey guys...I need some help deciding whether or not to take on this project. Here's what I know so far:

It's 1971 R75/5
Apparently it's running
Frame, engine numbers match
Mileage reads 40k something but unknown actual mileage
It looks...well like below. Clearly needs some paint.
Needs a new headlight clearly
Needs cables, probably carb rebuild, battery, timing, etc full tuneup

I don't know a ton about it and the pictures I got weren't great but I'll probably go and see it in person and get more info. The price is $1500 which feels a little high for this kind of project but it is running according to the owner so maybe it's worth it?

I know it's hard to really tell from this but what do you guys think? Should I dive into this?

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
east high
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Seems high to me too. It needs a tail light and indicators too, and there's something weird going on with the center stand(s) there.
'71 r75/5

east high screwed with this post 05-01-2012 at 02:07 PM
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
the thread-killer
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Joined: May 2008
Location: HIGH desert
Oddometer: 4,295
Also needs a new rear fender, it's missing about 6 inches of it. The headlight lamp parts can and do get really pricey, especially if you go with the H4 type which was found on the R65 and the R80ST and R850R and R1100R (early)
If it runs well, and it's what you want, go for it. But you do have some bucks to spend still, so keep that in mind.
It's hard to say for sure with this fuzzy picture, but I'm thinking that's a /6 tank rather than a /5 tank.
No screws holding on the Roundels?
If that's the case, it's price is way too high.
Oh, and no biggie, but that's not the right seat for a 71.

wirewrkr screwed with this post 05-01-2012 at 01:21 PM
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: east of Dallas
Oddometer: 1,010
2 months ago I would have said that is too high. Today I think its close. I would say $1200 cash would take the bike if hes asking 1500. Robert is right, its got some off-period stuff on it, but thats whats great about these airheads. I would say if it runs AND all of the electrical work (except the headlight) and the speedo/tach work you would be in good shape.
Giving the horses and the wife a break from riding...
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
Joined: Feb 2012
Oddometer: 89
Don't know what these go for in your vicinity but here's the problems I see from the photo:
  • no headlight and glass
  • seat looks wrong
  • tank isn't from a /5
  • missing the hubcap from the rear
  • rear fender broken and missing taillight and indicators
  • not sure, but the front fender doesn't look right
  • Mainstand is weird
  • fuel taps don't look right
  • 73 forks stanchions mostly had orange reflector panels on them
Here's some of the things to look out for when purchasing older beemers:
  • Motometer speedo/tacho units were pretty fragile and tend to be broken. cost approx. $500 to replace or renovate
  • Rear drive splines last about 100 thousand kms max and cost about $400 to overhaul
  • drums for brakes can get out of shape over time
  • the bottom end of the engine is pretty bullet-proof but the top end will generally need a complete overhaul about every 100 thousand kms
  • If it blows blue smoke on start up or when changing down through the gears, the top end may have problems
  • Oil from the drive shaft can leak through to the diff or oil from the diff can leak thru to the brakes
  • Diff ratio should be 32/10 (stamped on top of the diff housing)
  • Check for marks on the frame that might indicate that it has been used to haul a sidecar
Most of this doesn't matter if you don't want an original bike but it's always best to walk in with your eyes wide open.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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Location: North Alabama mountains
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It's a great project if you don't want to put it back to original condition. I got my R75/5 for around $1200 and have about $2K in it now. No motor work but all new cables, seat, frame, subframe, frame bearings, rubber bits, seals, fork rebuild, all brake shoes, the big Bing rebuild kit, tires, fenders, tail light, turn signals, handlebars. Only thing lacking for me now is new spokes, so that's $150 more...but it's a good runner now so that waits till the fall. So that's what you can expect for a non-correct fun bike, if the engine is in good shape.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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Location: Milwaukee, Wi.
Oddometer: 89
if you plan to cafe the Bike... it might be a good little platform. if you were thinking about restoring it... i would walk away.

Besides, there is something wrong with that frontend. it just does not look right to me. i bet that bike was in an accident... and if that is the case, who knows what else is wrong with it.
1974 BMW R75 /6
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 582
A general rule of thumb that I use for a project bike is $1 per CC. That is for a complete bike without the engine runing. If the engine runs and is in decent shape then it is worth a bit more.

If it was me, knowing how much some of the other parts are going to cost, I would be looking at around $ 1000.00 for the bike pictured. It would have to be a cafe project as it wouldn't be cost effective to try and restore it as a R75/5.

I've always found that your better off to pay more for a complete bike that runs and is in decent shape. Its cheaper in the long run. But if you enjoy tinkering, finding parts etc, then it becomes a hobby and all hobbies cost a few bucks.

So the ball is in your court.
2013 DL650 Adv
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #9
Hawk Medicine
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: NOR CAL
Oddometer: 3,304
I guess if youre handy with tools, have some extra cash and don't mind hunting parts, that might be a good long term project but even with the crap that I have stashed away, that bike just looks like a $$$ pit and /5 parts are getting more expensive every day.

I've been looking at the photos and I'm not seeing a damaged front end. (SWBs tend to look a little stubby no matter what!) but I just keep adding up the costs of making that bike right and I know that it's going to cost thousands.

If I were you and I was looking to get into Airheads, I'd keep my eye out for a more complete, more original bike to begin with and work from there but if that bike lights your fire, go ahead and start burning $100 bills. It's only a hobby!

Hate rots the pocket that carries it.

Hawk Medicine screwed with this post 05-04-2012 at 06:25 PM
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